Thursday, July 25, 2024

Another council meeting: Another half empty chamber……

WE BELIEVE it was Sir Paul McCartney who wrote: “Gotta see it my way……”

Last month we wrote that there was a 20% absentee rate among councillors at a full council meeting.

We were sure they all had valid reasons but we felt that it was something that somebody needed to look at.

Last night, we attended the Cleaner, Greener and Safer Overview and Scrutiny Committee (snappy title).

Once again, there was a twenty per cent absentee rate.

No cllr Joy Redsell and no cllr Claire Baldwin.

The Tories did not have a sub present nor were there any apologies. Labour organised a sub but cllr Sue Gray did not turn up either.

We have a million other stories to write but feel that the respective leader, cllr John Kent and cllr Phil Anderson need to get a grip of this situation.

Look at it this way: If we turned up to Grays Athletic and week after week, only eight players turned up to play: what do you think people would think?

If only half the cast of an act at the Thameside turned up?

On both occasions, customers would be entitled to ask for their money back.

We think that might be the way, that Sir Paul meant when he said: “We can work it out.”


  1. This is now getting beyond a joke, if Councillors can’t be bothered to turn up to Council Meetings then I certainly hope that they do not collect their monthly fees, both leaders of the main parties need to start looking very long and hard at their councillors and get their ship in order, TBC are already a joke of a council and this certainly adds fuel to that fire.

    These Councillors that are not attending meetings should all be named and shamed then maybe when they are next up for re-election the public can then decide if these candidates are actually worth voting for……..

  2. Not good Cllr’s, not good at all. Either turn up when you are supposed to (or offer up a damn good reason why you can’t) or stand down from your role and let somebody who CAN be bothered have a go at representing us.

  3. This seems to be a recurrent problem especially for Cllr Sue Gray, she is up for election in May and it will be interesting to see what she has to say for herself. We all know she has done little or nothing in the four years except to bunk class without a sick note and gets away with it. Isnt it about time these cllr’s were made to answer to the public or is this subject to be brushed under the carpet as is usually the case. Wake up Graham Farrent your residents are not happy, at least be seen to be doing something apart from holding cllr Sue Grays hand at her SORA meetings.

  4. I think “Your Thurrock” is being very charitable if they really believe that all the absentee councillors had “valid reasons” for their absence. As I have previously said Councillors are quite well paid for their time and the public expect them, at the very least, to attend meetings of Committees to which they have been appointed or designated as substitutes. No doubt there will be people who will accuse me of “picking on” Cllr Sue Gray but I would make the point that she is my Ward Councillor and I voted for her in the expectation that she would conscientiously and diligently carry out her duties and responsibilities. Regretfully Cllr Gray has a history of absence from council meetings though she always finds time to attend and “Chair” the South Ockendon Residents Association meetings. I note that for the financial year April 2009/March 2010 she was paid £8487.43 and for the financial year April 2010/March 2011 she was paid £9377.98 a total ,for the 2 financial years, of £17865.41 that amount is probably, at the very least, doubled over the 4 years she will have been in office come April 2012 i.e she will have been paid from council funds [tax payers money] around £35730.82 “a nice little earner” as the “Trotters” would say. No surprise she is seeking re-election in May 2012. If Councillors fail to attend meetings and cannot give a valid reason for their absence then penalise them where it hurts the most, i.e. in their pockets, and “dock” them a days pay.


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